A visit by the United Nations – meet Mohammed, a brilliant 7-year old student at FAID

A visit by the United Nations – meet Mohammed, a brilliant 7-year old student at FAID

(© UNHCR/Diego Ibarra Sánchez)

The United Nations agency for refugees and its High Commissioner Filippo Grandi went to FAID, the school for deaf children that we help since 2008. The star of this wonderful video is Mohammad, aged 7 and born at the very beginning of the Syria war. Mohammad is from Syria and he is a refugee; he lost his left hand when his house was shelled in 2014. Now he and his family live in Beirut. He is deaf and atttends FAID, where he is a very good and very diligent student.

Our deep gratitude to the Community Foundation of Collier County

Our deep gratitude to the David & Kathleen Halpin Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Naples, FL (USA), for their great generosity

The David & Kathleen Halpin Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County in Naples, Florida, has donated USD 1500 to Lebanon Trust for its charitable projects. We are impressed and deeply grateful for their great generosity. A big THANK YOU to all staff and members of the Foundation, and a special thought to Kathleen and Mick Halpin who made this possible.

It is wonderful to have friends like you!

Our special thanks to these friends, who helped us in 2017:

Our special thanks to these friends, who helped us this year:

  • All the employees of Symantec Corporation in Dublin, and in particular the following friends:
    • Mick Halpin
    • Amanda Davis
    • David Keane
    • David Tryse
    • Elaine Curley
    • Jayne Delahunt
    • Julie Weber
    • Louise Hanlon
    • Stephanie Derwojed
    • Wolfram Rausch
  • Jung Y. Yang e Stephen King, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Paul Velaski, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Jaime Barclay, Symantec Corporation
  • Kathleen Halpin (Dublin)
  • Kieran Mc Loughlin & GK Nets of Howth
  • O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd. (Dublin)
  • David John Landy (Doha, Qatar)
  • Staff, Committee and customers at St Peregrines GAA Club, Blanchardstown (Dublin)
  • Mountview Pharmacy (Dublin)
  • Cut N Style Mountview Hairdressers (Dublin)
  • Salmons Public House, Mountview (Dublin)
  • Caroline, of EUROSPAR Hartstown (Dublin)
  • We would like to express our deepest sympathy to Eddie Rooney and family on the loss of his wife Deirdre who passed away this year. Deirdre Eddie and family have always supported Lebanon Trust over the last ten years which we are deeply grateful for. May she rest in peace.
  • Big Mick & all the lads in Farleng engineering (Dublin)
  • Farleng Engineering (Dublin)
  • Pat Stafford of Stafford Engineering (Dublin)
  • The very generous people of St. Peter’s Crescent, Walkinstown (Dublin)
  • McCormack’s Cycle Centre (Dublin)
  • Eddy McHugh’s Shop (Dublin)
  • Paul Reid Dental Laboratories (Dublin)
  • Brenden Lilliput stores (Dublin)
  • and the many people who sponsored Paul Horace on the sponsor card, and the people he met while working on a wall building site in Dublin
  • British Airways
  • Air Lingus
  • Advanced Car Rental (Beirut)
  • Patricia Meade (USA)
  • Cecilia Della Penna (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Ponzano-Fossati (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Family Renato Ricci (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Family Robotti (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Silvana Falaschini, Giorgio Margotti (Livorno, Italy)
  • Martina Merkle (Zurich)
  • Catherine & Adrian Poeydomenge-Ruf (Zurich)
  • Dave, Aisling, Alex (Tralee)
  • Stacey Conway (Tralee)
  • Karen O’Brien (Tralee)
  • Francis Burke (Tralee)
  • Ed O’Connor (Tralee)
  • Dominick O’Brian (Tralee)
  • Pat Conway (Tralee)
  • Anto Carrol (Tralee)
  • Mike Conway, Jr (Tralee)
  • Adam Conway (Tralee)
  • Clodagh Lynch (Tralee)
  • Pat Francis Roche & family (Tralee)
  • Tommy Naughton (Tralee)
  • All street collectors in Tralee
  • Tim O’Brien (Tralee)
  • Sean P. Moran
  • Noel O’Connor, Adams garage (Tralee)
  • Sean Lynch (Tralee)
  • Sean McCord, Aqua Dome (Tralee)
  • Brogue Inn Restaurant (Tralee)
  • Niall Nolan of Nolan’s Garage (Tralee)
  • Eddie McCarthy (Tralee)
  • Ann Miller (Tralee)
  • Chelsey Conway (Tralee)
  • Billy Nolan Jewellers (Tralee)
  • Mike & Jordan Shea (Tralee)
  • Aidan Teahan (Tralee)
  • Pamela & Keith Costello (Tralee)
  • Tiziana Virgilio (Genova, Italy)
  • Maria Cristina Ferraro (Genova, Italy)
  • Alessandro Bertolotto (Genova, Italy)
  • Ole Vossnack (Zurigo)
  • Famiglia Vigna-Mori (Savona, Italy)
  • Anna Galli (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Repetto (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Carla & Natale Ferraro (Genova, Italy)
  • Caterina & Piero Pellegrini (Torino, Italy)
  • Checco Devia & famiglia (Genova, Italy)
  • Elena Prola-Smith & famiglia (Londra)
  • Enrico & Lilli Bertolotto (Genova, Italy)
  • Enzo & Evelyn Guassotti (Valparaiso, Chile)
  • Family Delfante-Cocurullo (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Parodi (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Fasciolo (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Family Boiani (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Amina & Tullio Marsi Delucchi (Milano, Italy)
  • Flavia Trucco (Novi Ligure, Italy)
  • Family Dondero (Variana, Grondona, Italy)
  • Giovanna Pellegrini & family (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Zappavigna (Marina di Massa, Italy)
  • Family Aquini (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Luisella Delucchi & Paolo Piva (Parigi)
  • Marisa & Angelo Spineto (Busalla, Italy)
  • Mozhgan & Mauro Locatelli (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Nino & Milda Cocurullo (Genova, Italy)
  • Paola & Natale Spineto (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Family Ferrando (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)

Our work in 2017

Our work in 2017

(tablets and smartphones: best viewed in landscape mode)

Dear friends,

2017 was a very productive year for Lebanon Trust. Thanks to your generosity, not only did we help the school for deaf children we have been supporting for ten years now, and the two refugee kindergarten we always help, but also we visited and donated to an institute for street, orphaned or abused children. We also met with a school for deaf teenagers – which prepares them for university – and a Lebanese non-governmental organisation that works with Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese.

The two weeks we spent in Lebanon in November were very intense. We stayed at the deaf children’s school that we support, the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID).

We donated them 8000 dollars to help financing speech therapy, which teaches deaf children how to speak and lip-read. this gives them an unique opportunity to communicate with the outside world and, in time, become independent.

We had a very generous sponsor, Tiziana Virgilio from Genoa (Italy), who financed the complete renovation of FAID’s kindergarten playground. We made a new reinforced-concrete floor, covered it with 400 rubber safety tiles, installed a new perimeter fence, fixed the existing toys, bought new ones, painted and decorated gates, walls and handrails. Also, we pruned a tree and removed a large wild overgrowth that blocked the light. We also fixed and painted the adjacent “mock shop”, utilised to teach children grocery-shopping.

The children and the teachers were absolutely delighted. At the end of all this work we had an opening ceremony with ribbon-cutting, sweets and soap bubbles. Every volunteer received a beautiful present from FAID. The new playground was dedicated to the memory of a friend, Francesco Lo Torto, with a plaque on the wall.

Besides all this, a generous Irish sponsor, GK Nets of Howth, donated a marvellous net (80 metres by 4 metres!) for the new football area used by the older kids. We brought it all the way from Ireland to Lebanon for free, thanks to British Airway’s generosity!

The plaque on the playground wall, in dedication to the memory of a friend.

We work in good spirits to remove the and clean the 400 existing rubber tiles

The old fence, part of the playground, with rusting barbed wire and plenty of overgrowth

The area of the playground in now ready for renovation

The iron rods are put in place for the reinforced concrete

The cement mixer and the crane-pump came at night, and started work right away

The making of the cement floor

The new floor is ready and smooth

A reason for celebration

As soon as the cement was solid, we started working right away making the new fence, installing the the rubber tiles for the safety floors, painting the gate and the handrails, fixing the existing toys and procuring the new ones, and all the rest

A bit of decoration: arabic and western numbers being painted here

The new playground is ready

The new playground waits for the children – it will be a big surprise!

The ribbon-cutting ceremony! Children and teachers are delighted

Our chairman Christy presents FAID’s Grace with a donation of 8000 dollars for financing the speech therapist

One of the children is Amir, a deaf Syrian refugee who has no family. During the week he stays at FAID, and spends the weekends at the Home of Hope. The Home of Home provides housing, accommodation, meals, clothes, education and care to children who have no parents or have been abandoned or abused. We went to visit it on a Friday evening: Amir was absolutely delighted to see us there, and kept trying to tell the other children that we were his friends and were there to see him. We were welcomed by Rachida and Brady, who run the institution together with other staff and volunteers. We were impressed by their dedication and their work. A few days later we realised that we still had a bit of money, so we went shopping with Brady and bought 100 pairs of shoes (“crocs”-like) and much underwear for the children, for a total of 350 dollars. We also donated some footballs from a generous sponsor in Ireland. The kids were overjoyed. They have very little.

Our volunteers and Home of Hope’s Brady with one of the kids seen here next to the shoes, underwear, footballls donated on behalf of our generous supporters

Beirut’s Armenian quarter, where we went shopping for shoes

Two residents of the Armenian quarter

In Lebanon there are literally millions of refugees, both long-term ones from the wars in 1948 and 1967 (between 500’000 and 600’00 of them), and an estimated 1.5 million more recent arrivals from the war in Syria. We went to visit the kindergartens of two refugee camps, run by our partner Association Najdeh, one in Beirut and one in Tyre, in the south of Lebanon. These two kindergartens are cheerful and spotless, despite the surrounding dire conditions. The staff are fantastic, motivated and resourceful, and make the most of the little they have. The children are delightful, and – at age 3 to 5 – learn Arabic and English. We donated 2000 dollars to each kindergaten.

One evening we went to visit The Learning Center for the Deaf (LCD), founded and run by Hussein, son of the late Father Andeweg who created FAID, and his wife Nadine. LCD runs an early-intervention centre, for deaf babies and their parents, a nursery school and the preparatory three-year schooling for university. Its services are complementary to FAID. It is very well organised and superbly run. Congratulations to the two visionary founders.

Our volunteers with Hussein and Nadine, the founders of The Learning Center for the Deaf in Baadba, Beirut

One day we went to the Beqaa valley, which borders Syria, to meet with LADC-Salam, a Lebanese non-governmental organisation. Its aim is to provide flexible, effective and non-bureaucratic assistance, which fills the gaps where refugees and local communities do not receive sufficient support, in light of the overwhelming need created by the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon. They run many important project and a community centre with after-school for children and courses for adults. Many Syrian refugee children do not attend school. A bus fitted as a “mobile school” reaches children in the refugee settlements and brings them up to speed so that they can enrol in the public school system. We met the founders Joseph and Martin, and the medical coordinator Laran. They also have many young volunteers who spends weeks or months helping out the various projects – people from all over the world, driven by the same idea. Meeting them was very inspiring, and we hope that one day we can collaborate.

Thank you Arquata friends

Thank you to all friends in Arquata Scrivia

We would like to thank all Marina’s friends in Arquata Scrivia (Italy, who contributed generously towards our charitable projects in Lebanon. Your altruism allowed us to do much good work and donate money to very worthy causes in Lebanon, all related to disadvantaged children: deaf kids, refugees, street children and orphans. All these stories and pictures are on this blog.

Thank you Arquata!

 

A big heartfelt thank you to the St. Peregrines GAA club in Blanchardstown, Dublin

A big heartfelt thank you to the St. Peregrines GAA club in Blanchardstown, Dublin

Christy Kinsella, together with all the volunteers of Lebanon Trust and the Institutions that Lebanon Trust supports, would like to express his deepest gratitude to everyone at the  St. Peregrines GAA club in Blanchardstown for their ongoing support and their superb cake-baking. Thank you friends!

Many heartfelt thanks to our friends in Symantec and at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Many heartfelt thanks to our friends in Symantec and at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

We are deeply grateful to all the friends who, year after year, have been actively and tirelessly helping Lebanon Trust in succeeding in its charitable projects. In particular, we are indebted to

(in alphabetical order) Amanda Davis, David Keane, Elaine Curley, David Tryse, Jayne Delahunt, Julie Weber, Louise Hanlon, Mick Halpin, Stephanie Derwojed, Wolfram Rausch from Symantec Corporation in Dublin

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Symantec Foundation, a corporate advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Jung Y. Yang  and Stephen King of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Paul Velaski, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Jaime Barclay, Symantec Corporation

THANK YOU ALL!

Thank you GK Nets of Howth!

Thank you GK Nets of Howth, a very generous sponsor!

Lebanon Trust would like to thank heartfeltly Kieran Mc Loughlin of G.K. Nets, who provided a marvellous net (80 metres by 4 metres!) for the children of FAID, the school for deaf children we have been supporting for ten years now. The net will be the cherry on the cake for the new football area in front of the classrooms that are being built now. Thank you Kieran and G.K. Nets for your continued support over the years!

Lebanon Trust went to visit the Learning Center for the Deaf in Baabda, Beirut

Lebanon Trust went to visit the Learning Center for the Deaf in Baabda, Beirut

During our recent stay in Lebanon, we paid a visit to  The Learning Center for the Deaf, welcomed by the truly visionary founders Hussein and Nadine. Hussein is the late Father Andeweg’s son. (Father Andeweg was the founder of FAID, the school we have been supporting for 10 years now). The Learning Center for the Deaf is complementary to FAID – it runs an early-intervention programme for deaf babies and their families, and the three years of preparatory  schooling for those who wish to attend university.

Splendidly-run school, Father Andeweg must be proud!

Lebanon Trust and the refugee kindergarten of Burj el-Shemali in Tyre, south Lebanon

Visit and donation to the children of the Burj el-Shemali refugee camp in Tyre, south Lebanon

Also this year we went to the Association Najdeh‘s kindergarten in the refugee camp of Burj el-Shemali in Tyre, south Lebanon.

The kids are delightful and learn Arabic and English. The teachers and their coordinator are bright and really dedicated. They all make the most of a difficult situation. This is a fantastic place to see. On behalf of our donors and supporters, we left a donation of 2000 dollars. Thank you all!

The kids pay attention during an Arabic class

and learn geometry in Arabic and English, at age 4:

this old minubus takes them home

a view of the refugee camp, and some Lebanon Trust volunteers enjoying a meal on the street

  

the beautiful fishing port of the old city of Tyre

The Home of Hope in Lebanon

A visit and donation to the Home of Hope in Lebanon

In early 2017 we reported Amir’s story – a deaf Syrian boy with no family, who was welcomed by FAID school for the deaf. Amir is a boarder at FAID and spends the weekends at Home of Hope Lebanon.

Home of Hope welcomes ~55 street or orphaned children, feeds and clothes them, and gives them a home and an education. Raghida and Brady, director and education director respectively, explained to us how they operate and gave a us a tour of the house. We were impressed. On behalf of our donors and according to Home of Hope’s wish list, we bought 100 pairs of Crocs in many different sizes and socks and underwear. O’Neills Sportswear from Ireland donated footballs, to the delight of the children.

Thank you friends!

 

Shoes, underwear, footballls donated on behalf of our generous supporters

Beirut’s Armenian quarter, where we went shopping with Home of Hope’s Brady

100 pairs of shoes filled our car’s booth and the back seat

Lebanon Trust’s ever biggest project

The playground “Francesco Lo Torto” –  a large project done by Lebanon Trust’s volunteers

A brand new playground for FAID‘s youngest children! This year we re-worked the kindergarten’s playground from scratch. There were 400 thick rubber tiles (50×50 cm, and quite heavy!) to remove and clean by hand; a new smooth, 10-cm thick, reinforced-concrete floor to make; the same 400 rubber tiles to put back & glue properly; an old & rusty iron and barbed-wire fence to remove and a new chain-link fence to install; a tree to prune and a wild overgrowth to remove; existing toys to clean and fix and new toys to buy and mount; benches, hand-rails and the gate to paint. We did it all, thanks to all our generous friends and supporters, and in particular Tiziana Virgilio. Thank you very much!

The new playground was dedicated to the memory of a friend, Francesco Lo Torto.

The old fence, part of the playground:
 
 We work in good spirits to remove the and clean the 400 rubber tiles:
the playground in now ready for renovation, and the iron rods for the reinorced concrete:
     
the cement mixer and the crane-pump came at night, and started work right away:
the making of the cement floor:
  
the new floor is ready – a reason for celebration:
as soon as the cement was solid, we started working right away on the new fence:
and on the rest – there’s definitely much work for everyone:
a bit of decoration: arabic and western numbers being painted here:
the new playground is ready – waiting for the children now:
 
The ribbon-cutting ceremony! Children and teachers are delighted:

Lebanon Trust and the kindergarten of the Chatila refugee camp in Beirut

Lebanon Trust and the kindergarten of the Chatila refugee camp in Beirut

Like every year, we went to the refugee camp of Chatila, in the heart of Beirut, where about 25’000 people – long-term residents and more recent arrivals from Syria alike – live in dire conditions. We visited our friends at the immaculate kindergarten run by the Association Najdeh, where Mariam the supervisor, the teachers and all the children welcomed us with open arms, songs and cheers. On behalf of our donors and supporters, we donated 2000 dolllars.

Wonderful news from Lebanon – 2017

We are back from Lebanon!

We are back home after a very intense, very successful two-week trip to Lebanon. We worked at FAID, the school for the deaf we have been helping for ten years now, we visited and donated to two refugee kindergartens, and bought 100 pairs of shoes and assorted underwear for street children. We also met many associations and schools doing great work for children and refugees. More news to follow!

Our volunteers’ annual trip to Lebanon

Our volunteers’ annual trip to Lebanon

In early November we will leave for Lebanon once again, for our annual support trip to FAID, the school for deaf children in Beirut that we support since 2008, and to two kindergartens for refugee children in Beorut and Tyre (south Lebanon).

We have many projects to complete and a lot of work to do. All support more than welcome!

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